James O’Kane’s telehandler
Wanting one machine that could handle everything on his 100-acre mixed farm, James O’Kane was unable to find anything that
met all his needs. So he built one himself. Dubbed the Tele-Trac, it is a rigid-chassis unit with four-wheel steering, centre-mounted boom and cab plus a rear linkage and pto. The power-plant is a reconditioned Perkins four-pot sourced from a fire-damaged JCB Loadall, as are the axles. The gearbox is a brand-new JCB four-speed torque-converter unit.
With the engine mounted directly under the cab, power transfer from the crankshaft to the pto is almost direct thanks to a gearbox arrangement that you would usually find between the front link arms on a tractor.
Everything else – including the telescopic boom, linkage and cab – is home-built, with cutting and rolling of heavy-gauge steel undertaken by a local engineer and welding and assembly done in the O’Kane farm workshop in Co Derry, N Ireland.